Monday, October 31, 2011

A Message From Bigger E....


"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."
-L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables


Heading home early to handout candy on the autumnal street pictured above...The Whackadoodle and I will set up shop on the lawn...I will try not to scare anyone with the guitar....

Throughout, it will be a Kit-Kat and Coffee-Crisp Dinner which is following up on the Root Beer Float afternoon we had in the lab for my belated birthday.

What a wonderful world.

E., who is beavering away in a red brick/leaf-lined library 2500 miles away, will get the citations galore inference I reckon...Although, it may be a wee while before she's willing to laugh about it...
Update 11pm: All done....Dog is walked and it's time to turn in....But, I've gotta tell you....It was like all the Brokoff's in the world were on the loose out there...So many kids with so many incindiary devices that must all be let off before the night is done...


Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Real Birth Of Gonzo.....



I read huge chunks of what the author himself once called the 'failed attempt' that was The Rum Diary a long, long time ago.

And, like I've said before....

Despite my great admiration for his best work, Hunter Thompson was no Earnest Hemingway.

Or even a cut-rate F. Scott Fitzgerald.

So, I reckon I'll hold onto my own money until he who would be Raoul Duke (ie. the former kid from Lotusland's 21 Jump St.) is able to bamboozle somebody else into giving him even more moola to make the real Gonzo origin story.

Which, I reckon, will be a movie that has little to do with either Puerto Rico or 'El Sportivo'....

Instead, it will be about South America and Thompson's time there as a so-called stringer for the 'National Observer'.

Because those were the days, as near as I can figure it, when Thompson, working all on his own and, essentially, unchecked, really started making stuff up.

Stuff that sometimes turned out to be truer than the real truth could ever be.

And that includes that piece he wrote about a then still somewhat obscure gang of East Bay hoodlums for Carey McWilliams and 'The Nation' that would later become his almost, but not quite ever, meal ticket.

Truth like this:

"...One of my most vivid memories of South America is that of a man with a golf club - a five-iron, if memory serves - driving golf balls off a penthouse terrace in Cali, Columbia. He was a tall Britisher, and had what the British call 'a stylish pot' instead of a waistline. Beside him on a small patio table was a long gin-and-tonic, which he refilled from time to time at the nearby bar.

He had a good swing, and each of his shots carried low and long out over the city. Where they fell, neither he nor anyone else on the terrrace that day had the vaguest idea.....Somewhere below us, in the narrow streets that are lined by the white adobe blockhouses of the urban peasantry, a strange hail was rattling down on the roofs - golf balls, 'old practice duds,' so the Britisher told me, that were 'hardly worth driving away'.

It is doubtful that the same man would drive golf balls off a rooftop apartment in the middle of London. But (it) is not really surprising to see it done in South America. There, where the distance between the rich and the poor is so very great, and where Anglo-Saxons are automatically among the elite, the concept of noblesse oblige is subject to odd interpretations.

The attitude, however, does not go unnoticed; the natives consider it bad form indeed for a foreigner to stand on a rootop and drive golf balls into their midst. Perhaps they lack sporting blood, or maybe a sense of humor, but the fact is that they resent it, and it is easy to see why they might go to the polls at the next opportunity and vote for the man who promises to rid the nation of 'arrogant gringo imperialists'...."

Hunter S Thompson, The National Observer, August 1963
Reprinted in: "The Great Shark Hunt, Warner Books, 1979, pp 404-405

99 percenters, indeed.


Interestingly, my most far-flung visitors come calling after they've searched the string looking for another, later, National Observer piece titled "What Lured Hemingway to Ketchum" which takes them to this post.....Last night it flew somebody in from, get this.....Estonia....Imagine that!
And please note: That is most certainly no stinkin' selectric with a kick bigger than an elephant gun in the image at the top of the post....
All this has me once again thinking....What if....As in....What if Thompson had never taken a break from the Salazar piece to ostensibly get paid to write about the Mint 400?...Would that have kept him from getting stupid?...Would more people be reading the Derby piece today?...Would Thompson have worked harder through the '70's to actually write a 'real' novel?...Or, at the very least, would he have gotten to that place where the Death of the American Dream was, allegedly, hiding in plain sight...Nobody knows for sure...But this much I do know....If he hadn't written the Vegas piece we may never have had the BooHoo or Ibogaine, or midnight calls to the night clerk in Milwaukee soon thereafter...And I may never have come so close to actually reading Coltrane on the page...Now do you see why I want nothing whatsoever to do with the callow Mr. Kemp anymore?....Prince Jellyfish, maybe...But not Kemp....At least not now...However, if you're a kid who doesn't yet really know Thompson?...Well, that's a different matter entirely...Still, if you go and you get bamboozled into buying Wenner's latest HST-fed cash cow....Well... make sure you get yourself 'The Great Shark Hunt' too, to make sure you get a chance to read the real thing in utero....It's got all the stuff that matters, or at least the stuff that will take a digger where they want to go....Like back to that Nation piece linked to above, which I reckon was Thompson's last real shot at 'straight' journalism done by bending the rules within the confines of the lines, just like he did it in both the Air Force and with Kennedy in PR...The NO pieces, where he was ALL on his own, as he later always would be, even with Steadman and Acosta in tow, were something very different, indeed...But....I ranteth too much...Sorry.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

So, If Lotusland Were To Have Its Own 'Common Sense' Revolution...


...Does it mean that we would someday soon have 911 call recordings of Ms. Always Campaigning screaming.....

"Don't you know who I am?.....I'm Always 'F'ing Campaigning...And I'm the Mayor of this F'ing Town!"

After she is ambushed in her driveway by, say, Nardwuar the Human Serviette.

Or some such common sensical nonsensical thing.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

What Auggie Wren Wrought...


"For a long time, I didn't give much thought to Auggie Wren. He was the strange little man who wore a hooded blue sweatshirt and sold me cigars and magazines, the impish, wisecracking character who always had something funny to say about the weather, the Mets or the politicians in Washington, and that was the extent of it.

But then one day several years ago he happened to be looking through a magazine in the store, and he stumbled across a review of one of my books. He knew it was me because a photograph accompanied the review, and after that things changed between us. I was no longer just another customer to Auggie, I had become a distinguished person. Most people couldn't care less about books and writers, but it turned out that Auggie considered himself an artist. Now that he had cracked the secret of who I was, he embraced me as an ally, a confidant, a brother-in-arms. To tell the truth, I found it rather embarrassing. Then, almost inevitably, a moment came when he asked if I would be willing to look at his photographs. Given his enthusiasm and goodwill, there didn't seem any way I could turn him down.

God knows what I was expecting. At the very least, it wasn't what Auggie showed me the next day. In a small, windowless room at the back of the store, he opened a cardboard box and pulled out twelve identical photo albums. This was his life's work, he said, and it didn't take him more than five minutes a day to do it. Every morning for the past twelve years, he had stood on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Clinton Street at precisely seven o'clock and had taken a single color photograph of precisely the same view. The project now ran to more than four thousand photographs. Each album represented a different year, and all the pictures were laid out in sequence, from January 1 to December 31, with the dates carefully recorded under each one....

....Once I got to know the (people in the pictures), I began to study their postures, the way they carried themselves from one morning to the next, trying to discover their moods from these surface indications, as if I could imagine stories for them, as if I could penetrate the invisible dramas locked inside their bodies. I picked up another album. I was no longer bored, no longer puzzled as I had been at first. Auggie was photographing time, I realized, both natural time and human time, and he was doing it by planting himself in one tiny corner of the world and willing it to be his own, by standing guard in the space he had chosen for himself. As he watched me pore over his work, Auggie continued to smile with pleasure. Then, almost as if he'd been reading my thoughts, he began to recite a line from Shakespeare. "Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow," he muttered under his breath, "time creeps on its petty pace." I understood then that he knew exactly what he was doing..."

A few years ago, we were over in Victoria for the Christmas season....

Which is the norm for us given that both C. and my parents, as well as a big whack of both our families, still live there.

In fact, we quite often go over on Christmas Day, wrapping presents with all the other folks on the Ferry who have also missed the Christmas Eve crowds on purpose, and then stay for the next few days.

The particular year in question I decided I'd like to get a new camera during the post-Christmas sales* madness.

Not a good camera, but instead a crappy camera.

Because I actually like 'em crappy for reasons I will try my best to explain below.


When I was a post-doc a long time ago I got a little Ricoh box with a fixed focus and not much else.

This was the year before our oldest kid was born.

It was also the time when we were switching over to digital imaging on the 'scopes in the lab (back when one laser scanning confocal image filled an entire box full of 3.5 inch floppy disks).


Because of the switch, the lab darkroom, not to mention rolls and rolls and rolls of suddenly superfluous high contrast B&W film, was pretty much always free.

Which meant that I could go in there and develop stuff taken on the Ricoh whenever I wanted.


I pointed and shot a whole bunch of pictures on the Ricoh, often without looking, on real film, taken on quick weekend trips around Northern California that I dragged C. to so that we could both sight-see and watch Single A baseball games at the drop of a hat.

Two of my favourite places to watch a game were the tiny ballpark in Visalia and Salinas.

A visit to Salinas was particularly enjoyable for at least two reasons...First, Salinas was then, and still is, deep within Steinbeck country...And, second, the 1992 Salinas Spurs may have been the worst professional baseball team of all time for all kinds of reasons, not least of which was the fact that they were actually some sort of weird, quasi-independent outfit that brought unsigned kids over from the Far-East in an attempt to showcase them before they tried to sell them off to real big league-backed organizations. As such, the rest of the Salinas roster was filled out by North American scrubs that nobody else wanted and guys on the way, way downward side of former phenom-hood that were barely hanging on.

In the summer of 1992, which was also the summer I started working feverishly on a project in the lab about how biophysical and biochemical signals downstream of extracellular matrix-binding cell adhesion molecules regulate mammary epithelial cell differentiation**, I ended up writing a fictional account of how one of the real-life Spurs, a pitcher named Dave Trautwein who had topped out at Triple-A in the Mets organization, may have celebrated after one last outing where he actually pitched pretty well on pure guile and a constantly-changing arm angle that he then employed given that, clearly, his best stuff was long, long gone.


Back then I didn't write in pixels.

Instead, I sent stuff to my editor up in Vancouver, by mojo-wire.

He then published it on real dead-tree paper for the folks high up in the Bleachers of Nat Bailey Stadium to read (and/or to wipe their fingers on when they got too much mustard on them from their hot dogs).

Weirdly, my editor has been showing up here a little recently, blowing my mind once again with his staccato narratives that evoke non-statistical stories for the ages about all that might be baseball, or not, that no Canadian has any business knowing whatsoever.

All of which is just my way of letting you know that I am sucker for any story that is both hard-headed and life affirming but, at its core, has nothing whatsoever to do with either statistics or syrup.

Which is why I, perhaps, I like cheap cameras that put slightly fuzzy, ambiguous edges on hard little nuggets of reality and why Paul Auster's Christmas Story is by far and away my most favourite one ever.



Getting back to that Christmas in Victoria a few short years ago....

I managed to get myself a crappy digital camera from one of those surplus stores that are now ubiquitous.

A little Samsung that has so many quirks and bizarre functions that the fine folks from Excess Cargo should have paid me 30 bucks to take it off their hands rather than the other way around.

Which is neither here nor there, because I made the darned thing work. And in the intervening years I almost always had it at the ready to whip-out of my bag whenever C. or our two E.'s had camera trouble.

And this fall, I've been whipping it out both around the house and around town every single day.

Because since our oldest kid, Bigger E., left town for college earlier this fall I've been making a little like Auggie Wren so that I can send her a picture-a-day with a short narrative attached.

And I got all the way up to Image #50 last weekend when, suddenly, somewhere between home and Iona Point, I lost the Samsung.


After a few days of frantic searching in which I used old pictures to fill the gap temporarily, I finally gave up and did the only thing I could.

Which was to ask our other kid, Littler e., to whip out her camera, a camera not bought at a surplus store, so I could take Image #52 which is the one at the top of this post.

Image #52 shows the fall colours outside our front window. As you can see by the flashback bouncing back from the glass, I clearly do not yet know how to work this fancy box.


If you click this link you can hear the greatest Christmas Story ever read by Mr. Auster himself...Alternatively, you can listen to and watch the lyrical version, brought to you by Tom Waits, Wayne Wang and Mr. Auster, here.
*When I was a kid my Dad once said that we should just wait a few days and have Christmas on, say, the 28th so that we could save a bundle....I'm pretty sure he was only half joking.
**Which is the kind of stuff I'm still working on almost 20 years later.
And just in case anybody thinks that time is not timeless for everyone....Well, you shouldn't even begin to bother with......This.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Public Eye May Be Down...


....But Sean Holman is up.

At The Tyee, with the first in a series on the government of our current (not)Premier. Here is Mr. Holman's lede:

It was the Kodak moment Christy Clark and her family of supporters had been working for their entire political lives.

Clark being sworn-in as premier at government house, her much-mentioned smile and fashionable, hound's-tooth jacket contrasting sharply with the serious suites and expressions being worn by her soon-to-be cabinet colleagues.

But, seven months into her administration, the premier -- whose Liberal leadership bid was supported by just one of those ministers -- doesn't have much to smile about.

Her government is now trailing the Opposition, according to the latest polling from Ipsos Corp., with Clark having a disapproval rating that's higher than her New Democratic Party competitor Adrian Dix....

(If only for the myriad names that are not Clark)



What's Better Than Breakfast?


Why, a good stiff belt courtesy of Woody, of course.




Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This One's For Spaceman, Crow and The Vlad...


A wee Tweet from Tom Hawthorne reminded me that it was 30 years ago today that faux Expos manager Jim Fanning brought Steve Rogers in to pitch to the Dodgers' Rick Monday in the ninth inning of the deciding game of the National League Championship Series.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Which, in the end of course, turned out to be a very bad history for the Montreal Expos indeed.

But here's the thing....

If management hadn't fired the real manager of the Expos, Dick Williams, earlier that year during the pennant drive I'm not so sure starter Rodgers would have been brought in late in the game in a pressure situation instead of, say, Jeff Reardon, because Williams apparently knew what Mr. Rodgers wasn't made out of.

And if that had not happened baseball in Montreal might have turned out very differently.

Not to mention the fact that The Vlad might be still playing in the beautiful province, maybe even in a new downtown ballpark, so that he can go for his 500th next year where he belongs instead of shucking, jiving and playing out the string as a free agent vagabond.



I remember Monday's home run trot on Rodgers back on Oct 19, 1981 like it was yesterday.

But as for what else I did on my 22nd birthday?


I can't remember a darned thing about it.


Another Lickspittle Cometh!


Yesterday, we commented on the first BC Liberal Lickspittle to kinda/sorta speak out against his party's decade long assault on the poorest and the most vulnerable amongst us and asked, seriously, what the Lickspittle was going to do about it.


Now a second BC Liberal Lickspittle has, apparently, according to the VSun's Jonathan Fowlie, seen the light:

For the second time in as many days, a Liberal MLA has lashed out at his own government over its poor treatment of adults with developmental disabilities.

"I think that there's been an absence of the right kind of leadership at the top of the organization to deal with the issues. I think that goes to elected people, not necessarily to staff or appointed people, ultimately," said John van Dongen (Abbotsford South), Liberal backbencher and former solicitor-general.

"It's been very clear that there's been pressures and they haven't been dealt with in a timely way.

"Obvious signs of issues weren't dealt with promptly."...

So, what are these two Lickspittles, who both have been a part of their "Slash-And-Burn-And-Screw-Common-People-Over" government from the very beginning, suggesting should be done to rectify this egregious situation?

Why, they are calling for....

You got it....

A review:

....Van Dongen joined his Liberal colleague Randy Hawes (Abbotsford-Mission), who on Monday called for a "top-to-bottom" review of Community Living BC, and who suggested that his own government has misled the public about problems in the sector....


Thanks to the work of real reporters, we know exactly what has been going on with the Lickspittles' 'Community Living BC' and we know that we don't need no stinkin' review.

Instead, what we need to do is stop throwing adult disabled people out of their longterm group homes right now.

As in immediately.

And when a BC Liberal Lickspittle finally gets up on his or her hind legs in the legislature and calls for his or her government to do so I will actually start paying said Lickspittle some respect.

But until that occurs I have absolutely no time for long-time quislings who are suddenly getting a little queasy because they have come to realize that their constituents are actually starting to truly understand what said quislings have done to them for the last 10 years.


And what I said about hind legs above goes double, or maybe even triple, for the PAB-Bots who have suddenly taken a renewed interest in swarming this little F-Troop-list blog, especially you fine folks from the 208 exchange in the capital city that swooped in yesterday (usually I just get the Lo-Bots from PoCo) who were reading (scanning?, archiving?) reams of pages by the hour yesterday...More specifically, stop monitoring, and instead tell your bosses that you want to do something that actually helps people in this province.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Lickspittles Cometh!


Rod Mickeburgh, in The Globe, has the story of the BC Liberal Lickspittles who are suddenly appalled by the way they and theirs have been treating the most vulnerable amongst us:

...In an emotional presentation to the legislature on Monday, veteran Liberal MLA Randy Hawes expressed deep concern that services being provided are inadequate, and adults with severe developmental challenges – to the distress of their families – are being moved out of group homes where many have lived for years.

“In the more than 10 years that I’ve been in this legislature, there’s no issue that’s caused me more loss of sleep or more concern for those most valuable people,” said Mr. Hawes, not previously known as a publicly independent voice within the Liberal caucus.

He rejected past assertions by the government and its service agency, Community Living B.C., that no one is being moved out of a group home into private residential accommodation against their will. “We know that hasn’t been what has been happening.”

The Abbotsford-Mission MLA, who appeared close to tears at one point, was speaking during debate on a motion by NDP MLA Nicholas Simons. The motion, which called for a moratorium on further group home closures, was talked out before it could come to a vote.

Gordon Hogg, another Liberal backbencher, also expressed concern over the situation, which has prompted the demotion of former Social Development minister Harry Bloy and the firing late Friday of Community Living CEO Rick Mowles.

Mr. Hogg said some of the decisions made by CLBC have hit at society’s core values “and [they have hit at] them in a way which I’m not comfortable with.”

The MLA for Surrey-White Rock was referring to well-publicized recent examples which had distraught parents questioning removal of their developmentally disabled adult children from group accommodation, where they had been comfortable, to private homes...."

But here's the thing.

What will the Lickspittles actually do about it?


Other than shedding a few crocodile tears for the Media, what will they actually do to reverse and make good on all the slashing and burning that they have been a party to for years for no good reason at all?


And I remind everyone that it is our most helpless and vulnerable fellow British Columbians who have been forced to pay the most for all of the rusted-out and tarnished Golden Era edifices that are still being controlled by the cronies and the henchpersonnages of the Era's former leader.

Most egregious of these edifices is the disgustingly overpriced $600 million carpet atop the BC Place Marshmallow that was arranged for AFTER the 2008 recession hit. Furthermore, I assert that the retractable roof and all the other goo-gaws associated with it were really forced upon us for no other reason than to justify a long ago planned-for Casino-Industrial-Complex/Land-Jacking in Downtown Lotusland.

Meanwhile, the life partner of one T. Richard Turner (yes, THAT paragon of the most virtuous of the finest of the fine friends of Mr. Gordon M. Campbell, who also once had the Minister then responsible for the Marshmallow on speed-dial, Mr. T. Richard Turner) makes like Marie Antoinette over the issue of our most vulnerable....


Heckfire....If you want to see a man defending those who would let us eat cake forever and ever after, just watch this 1 minute clip of the former Marshmallow Minister that was originally filmed by Sean Holman....It contains everything you need to know how the BC Liberal lickspittles that are STILL running this province really operate when called upon to defend the indefensible.

(although, please note how The Dean, just off stage right, tries to give the then Marshmallow Minister a lifeline that he is not quite sharp enough to grasp firmly)


Monday, October 17, 2011

Here's To The State Of The Golden Era....Last Line

Here's to the Land of the People Rising...
Who see the Golden Era....Now is cached with rust...
Who stared down the Leader...Iron fist soon turned to dust...
And who see in his Replacement a Charlatan they can't.....Trust.
Here's to the Land they've torn out the heart of...
People Rising build yourselves....Another Province we all can be a part of.


..."That was a tough decision we made back in 1961 to take over the B.C. Electric Railway Company and amalgamate it with B.C. Power into B.C. Hydro and Power authority. But you see, my friends, I had three thoughts in mind.

"First, I didn't want our province to depend upon foreign companies for power. Nothing against Americans, you understand, but I wanted us to be masters of our own house.

"Secondly, we wanted, as a matter of policy, the ability to expand the availability of electricity to wherever we thought best and we knew that no private company would expand unless there was a profit in it.

"Thirdly, we wanted the price of electricity to be an incentive to industry and business and fair to the public. For this to happen, B.C. Hydro had to be to be in our hands. Why? Very simple. The electorate can enforce their wishes in the ballot box much more effectively than they can affect decisions in some faraway corporate boardroom.

"Now, my friends, I wasn't born yesterday. Under Gordon Campbell, B.C. Hydro is doomed. By government edict, it can't produce new sources of power, it's had its transmission lines taken away, and it's forced to pay huge amounts for private power, which they must sell at a loss. This means it has to service its capital debt of $7 billion without the revenue to do so.

"My friends, I'm pretty proud of the record of B.C. Hydro and my friends in the Kootenays paid a big environmental price for what I did, but that was the only environmental price that would have to be paid. I look now and see how wasteful citizens have become, how generators need modernizing and how new generators can be installed. Moreover, I made the deal that B.C. would sell power into the United States but that they could take the power instead of the money if they wanted. Why isn't Mr. Campbell doing that instead of putting the production of power into out of province hands?"...

The Wacky One, In Repose...
On One of the Ferries We All Built

Big Audible Dyn-O-mite version comin' down the track, if a little slowly...It's the Key that's killin' me...Do I go with the People's (and the Ochsian) 'C' or do I attempt the more vocally acrobatic Vedderized 'G'?... Clearly I'm having a hard time laying off the latter, which, of course, is the problem...Stay tuned for the MP3...


Friday, October 14, 2011

Here's To The State Of The Golden Era....Verse 4

Here's to the Land of the People Rising...
Who see the Golden Era....Now is cached with rust...
Who stared down the Leader...Iron fist soon turned to dust...
And who see in his Replacement a Charlatan they can't.....Trust.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Here's To The State Of The Golden Era....Verse 4

Here's to the Land of the People Rising...
Who see the Golden Era....Now is cached with rust...
Who stared down the Leader...Iron fist soon turned to dust...

"Is it ironic, or just plain weird, that while only nine per cent of British Columbians currently hold a positive view of Gordon Campbell, close to 100 per cent of the mainstream media remain deeply infatuated with our soon-to-be ex-premier?...

...It actually is shocking how loathe are the mainstream media to undertake even a minimal amount of research -- especially when so much of B.C.'s fiscal information is readily available online or in public libraries. Would it have been so very difficult for the Globe, Sun or (CKNW's Bill) Good to spend even a few minutes analyzing Campbell's fiscal accomplishments before declaring that he belongs in the pantheon of B.C. "greats"?....

So, in the end it turns out that even the great leader had to admit, if only jokingly, that, despite the continued fawning of the above mentioned media right to the bitter end (and beyond?), there was only one thing more unpopular than the dreaded HST.

And that was....


Above video of the rusted-out, iron fistless one's retort to a rush-through-the-hallway question from the Globe's Justine Hunter was captured by Sean Holman. Of course, Public Eye reported both the question and the answer....To the best of our, or that of the Googleplex', knowledge the Globe did not.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Here's To The State Of The Golden Era....Verse 4

Here's to the Land of the People Rising...
Who see the Golden Era....Now is cached with rust...

"Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told reporters Wednesday that he expects British Columbia to repay $1.6 billion it received from Ottawa to implement the harmonized sales tax if it scraps the controversial levy. A province-wide mail-in referendum on whether to keep the HST ended August 5. Results aren’t expected until August 25. Flaherty said the repayment is in line with a 2009 accord between Ottawa and B.C. in which the province pledged not to eliminate the HST until July 1, 2015....."


Monday, October 10, 2011

Here's To The State Of The Golden Era....Verse 3

Here's to the Lies of the Era's Spinners...
In the midst of all the plenty....A decade of children going down...
And the Seniors who need our help most...Get shuffled round and round...
While the Helpless and most Vulnerable are shouted down by Clowns...
Here's to the Land they tore the out the heart of...
Era's Liars find yourself another Province to be part of...

Based on online caucus statements and party advertising launched in late February, the BC NDP appears to favour scrapping plans for a retractable roof at BC Place stadium.

“It's not explicit in the election platform release today, but they’ve made it clear in a series of pre-election trial balloons what their preference would be and that’s to scrap the plans for a retractable roof and proceed with a simpler replacement fixed roof,” said TEAM 1040 sport business commentator Tom Mayenknecht, who will discuss the issue Thursday at 4 p.m. on Pratt & Taylor with afternoon show co-hosts Dave Pratt and Don Taylor.....


"Some fans expecting touchdown passes to rain down at last night's B.C. Lions game got a little more than they bargained for when BC Place Stadium's leaky roof let water fall into their section.

About 10 people sitting close to the end zone had to be relocated after temporary weldings in the new roof failed and three or four leaks sprang up.

"It wasn't torrential, but you could see that lots of water was coming in on one side of the stadium," said Ronnie Stanton, who was at the game with his wife, Sarah. "The people where we were sitting found it highly amusing, but I was watching the game."...



If it turns out that it costs an extra 10 or 20 or even 50 million bucks to fix the leaks, for real, that's no big deal, right?

After all, it's not like we are throwing handicapped people out of group homes or anything crazy like that for lack of 'revenue'.....



"The closures (of group homes for the adult disabled) aren't isolated. Community Living B.C. closed more than 40 group homes last year, forcing the residents to move and - often - reducing the support they received.

And the closures are not driven by revelations of waste, or innovations in support.

This is about cutting costs. The government has chosen not to put these families first.

According to CLBC, the amount of funding per client has fallen every year since it was created by the Liberals six years ago, under Christy Clark's watch as children's minister.

In 2006-07, the first full year of operation, funding provided an average $51,154 per client. This year, funding will be $45,306. And by 2013, according to the government projections, it will be cut to $41,225 per client.

If you factor in inflation, by 2013 the funding available for each client will be 30 per cent less than it was in 2006..."


Sunday, October 09, 2011

Here's To The State Of The Golden Era....Verse 3

Here's to the Lies of the Era's Spinners...
In the midst of all the plenty....A decade of children going down...
And the Seniors who need our help most...Get shuffled round and round...
While the Helpless and most Vulnerable are shouted down by Clowns...

"More than 2,800 people with developmental disabilities are waiting for services across the province, B.C. government figures show.

Of those people, 750 receive no help at all from Community Living B.C., the government agency that pays for employment programs, skill development, respite care, and residential programs, such as group homes or sharedliving arrangements.

The other 2,100 people receive some help, but not enough to meet their needs. The figures represent 20 per cent of CLBC's 13,700 registered clients...."

"...(Former Social Development Minister Harry) Bloy told Community Living B.C. to produce the figures (on care for adults with disabilities) before the start of the fall session of the legislature. But he was demoted last week, and his replacement, Stephanie Cadieux, delayed their release, ostensibly so she could get briefed by CLBC officials.

Cadieux told the legislature that she had her first meeting with the agency on Tuesday. Yet her office chose to wait until late on Thursday afternoon — following the last question period of the week — before putting out a release. The fact that 2,800 people, or one in five CLBC clients, are waiting for service was hardly good news. But with politicians taking off the next week for Thanksgiving, the late release ensured that Cadieux won’t face questions in the legislature for 10 more days..."

Here's To The State Of The Golden Era....Verse 3

Here's to the Lies of the Era's Spinners...
In the midst of all the plenty....A decade of children going down...
And the Seniors who need our help most...Get shuffled round and round...


In 2001 the Era's Spinners made the following 'promise'.

"(We will w)ork with non-profit societies to build and operate an additional 5,000 new intermediate and long-term care beds."

Then, in April of 2009, the Spinner-In-Chief on that particular matter at that particular time said this:

"The government has created approximately 5,900 new spaces (for long-term care) since 2001, (then Health Minister George) Abbott told The Tyee Tuesday......"

Then the Era's Spinner said this:

(Mr. Abbott then) acknowledged that only 800 of these beds are long-term care, but the remaining spaces are assisted-living units -- "parallel," he said, to the intermediate-care beds made in the promise.....

In point of fact, between 2001 and 2009 access to residential care for Seniors dropped more than 20%. As a result the Golden Era's Leaders, Henchmen (remember CareNet?) and Spinners took us from near the top to near rock bottom* in access per 1000 seniors.

The definitive report on this aspect of the Era's duplicity from the CCPA, in which conflicting numbers from different ministries were unearthed, can be found here.

Of course, this issue, which emerged in the month prior to the Spring 2009 election, had little or no effect on that election.
*Thank the Goddess for New Brunswick.


Here's To The State Of The Golden Era....Verse 3

Here's to the Lies of the Era's Spinners...
In the midst of all the plenty....A decade of children going down...

B.C.'s child poverty rate has been the highest in the country for the last eight measured years (2001-2009), with approximately 100,000 children living under the poverty line....


Saturday, October 08, 2011

Here's To The State Of The Golden Era....Verse 2

Here's to the stealth of the Era's Henchmen...
Privatized our Railway....Raped rivers Everywhere..
Rawlogs and Sea-Lice Salmon...In the name of Market Share...
The Cronies with their hands out....Never considered what was Fair...
Here's to the Land they've torn out the heart of...
Era's Henchmen find yourself...Another Province to be part of...

"With respect to the payment of money referenced in paragraph 9(b) above, from July 19, 2002 to December 28 2003, Bornman paid Basi $25,695.00 and the payments were routed through Aneal Basi....These payments according to Bornman were for political favors and support, client referrals and the provision of information."

"A former British Columbia lobbyist and political power-broker (Erik Bornman[n]) who admitted bribing a Liberal ministerial aide to get government information in the BC Rail scandal has been cleared to practise law in Ontario...."